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5/11/2022 3:00 pm  #1

RIP Bob Lanier

He passed away today at age 73.  Greatest player in the history of St. Bonaventure basketball, leading one team to a Final 4 appearance.  In the NBA, he averaged 20/10 over his career, including 9 consecutive seasons averaging 21+ points per game.  He incurred knee problems throughout much of his professional career.

Here's my somewhat cool Bob Lanier story.  You may be aware if you listen at all to Tony Kornheiser that Larry Brown was his camp counselor.  This was at the now defunct Camp Keeyumah in Orson, PA.  Larry's brother Herb was also a counselor there.  Several of my friends were campers there and their older brothers were close with the Brown brothers.  In any case, Herb was also a basketball coach and his one NBA head coaching gig was coaching Bob Lanier and the Pistons.  (As a great piece of outdated trivia, Herb was the first NBA coach to wear jeans on the sidelines.  Doug Moe or George Karl may try to take credit but it was Herb, with a blazer and jeans, who got the temporary trend rolling.)

Herb's career record with the Pistons was 72-74 and he was fired during his third season.  One day during this time, Herb is visiting my friend's brother and I am hanging out at the house as well.  In typical teenage fashion, we proceed to ask Herb why he got fired and he gave a very memorable answer which I'll paraphrase:

"I coached Bob Lanier, the greatest player in NBA history ten times a season.  Bob would handpick the games that he felt like dominating and we knew to just keep getting him the ball on those days.  He was unstoppable when he wanted to be.  I got fired for the other 72 games."


5/11/2022 3:17 pm  #2

Re: RIP Bob Lanier

Herb was also a Vermont Catamount. He is still a legend there.


5/12/2022 8:10 pm  #3

Re: RIP Bob Lanier

Too bad he  got hurt in the 1970 regional against Villanova. They may have beaten UCLA.


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